How to Get a Drug Possession Charge Dismissed in Minnesota
Imagine standing in a courtroom, heart pounding, as you await the judge’s decision on your drug possession charge. The weight of the world seems to be on your shoulders, doesn’t it?
It’s a situation no one wants to be in, yet thousands find themselves in it every year. Getting through this scenario requires more than just hope; you need knowledge, strategy, and, above all, a competent criminal justice attorney.
In this blog, we’ll discuss Minnesota drug possession charges, who has the final say in these cases, and some proven strategies for dismissal.
Minnesota Drug Possession Charges
Most drug possession offenses are felonies under Minnesota law, with five degrees in total. Fifth-degree drug charges carry the lightest penalties, while first-degree has the harshest.
There are also limited situations where the possession of a controlled substance is considered a misdemeanor. While this is the lower level of a criminal offense, a conviction could still result in as much as a year behind bars.
Who Dismisses the Charges Against You?
Prosecutors hold the ultimate decision-making regarding pursuing criminal charges for controlled substance crimes. They can file charges initially, amend them if needed, or dismiss charges entirely.
For drug charges to be dismissed voluntarily, defense attorneys often negotiate with the prosecution, particularly highlighting evidentiary weaknesses.
Prosecutors may dismiss possession cases willingly if conviction seems doubtful, though this is not guaranteed. Judges also hold dismissal powers, even barring re-filing charges once dismissed “with prejudice.” However, judges rarely use their dismissal authority unless the defense files a formal motion requesting they do so.
So, while it is possible to have Minnesota drug possession charges dismissed under certain conditions, prosecutors and judges wield meaningful decision-making power. Experienced criminal defense lawyers are best equipped to present convincing dismissal arguments to these authorities when working to avoid conviction.
Proven Defense Strategies to Get Possession Charges Dismissed
So, how exactly can a possession charge be dismissed? There are multiple paths to explore, and each case is unique. Here, we’ll break down three common strategies our team employs: challenging probable cause, proving illegal search or seizure, and understanding constructive possession.
Challenging the Probable Cause
‘Probable cause’ is a legal term that refers to the reasonable belief that a person has committed a crime. The police must have probable cause to arrest you for drug possession. If we can show that the police lacked probable cause for your arrest, there’s a good chance your charge could be dismissed.
Illegal Search or Seizure
This is grounded in your Fourth Amendment rights, which protect you from unreasonable searches and seizures. If we can prove that the police violated these rights—for example, by searching your car without your consent or a warrant—we may be able to get the evidence against you thrown out.
Finally, there’s the concept of ‘constructive possession.’ This implies that you had control over the drugs and the ability to use them, even if they weren’t physically on you. It’s a tricky area, but understanding it can be a powerful tool in your defense.
Challenge Miranda Mistakes
When arrested, you’ve got certain rights, including being told you can remain silent. If cops questioned you a pre-Miranda warning and you admitted anything, your answers could get barred from court. The arrest and interrogation details would need review to spot violations. Rights can get tricky, too – you can waive them initially and then re-request an attorney.
Argue Lack of Awareness
It isn’t automatically criminal to possess drugs if you didn’t actually know they were there. For example, if someone secretly stashed drugs in your stuff without telling you, it’s not possession. Or maybe you truly had no clue the substance was illegal – you thought it was something harmless. It’s challenging to convince a jury you really didn’t know, but it happens.
Contact Our Minneapolis Drug Lawyers Today
Life’s unexpected twists may have led you to a daunting crossroads, but Martine Law is here to guide you toward justice. Facing a drug possession charge is undoubtedly challenging, but it’s essential to remember that hope and resolution are within reach.
A charge, no matter how serious, does not define your future. Armed with the right legal team, a solid defense strategy, and the determination to overcome this obstacle, you can navigate through the legal complexities and emerge with a positive outcome.
Don’t let one mistake dictate the course of your life. Reach out to Martine Law today, and let’s initiate your journey towards justice together. Your second chance awaits, and we are here to help you seize it.